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Thomas F. McLoughlin publishes volume on fossils found in Southwest Virginia

The book reveals the fossils from the Pennsylvanian period hidden in the coal mines of southwestern Virginia.


A wonderful resource for rock hounds, aspiring geologists, and fossil hunters

Thomas F. McLoughlin takes his love for geology and education seriously that he progressed from being a rock hound as a child to geologist, college professor, coal miner instructor, mining consultant, and author. He has published a book on the fossil plants and marine organisms that he found, titled “A Guide to Pennsylvanian (Carboniferous) Age Plant Fossils of Southwest Virginia” (Trafford; 2016).
McLoughlin gives readers a brief background on his professional life as a geologist, introduces them to the science of fossils and the art of collecting plant fossils, and showcases a rich gallery of fossils, most of which are plants and a few marine organisms. There are 57 plates with more than 280 illustrations, most of which are in color.
This is a truly education work that will awaken the geologist within.
Thomas F. McLoughlin’s “A Guide to Pennsylvanian (Carboniferous) Age Plant Fossils of Southwest Virginia” available through Amazon (
Watch out for the public display of this fossil guide at the upcoming Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on April 13-24, 2019 at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA.
A Guide to Pennsylvanian (Carboniferous) Age Plant Fossils of Southwest Virginia
Written by Thomas F. McLoughlin
Published by Trafford Publishing
Published date: November 11, 2016
Paperback price: $33.99
About the Author
Thomas F. McLoughlin received his Bachelor of Science degree from Morehead State University (MSU) at Morehead, Kentucky in 1977. He then obtained his Master of Science in Geology degree from Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) in Richmond, Kentucky in the spring of 1980. McLoughlin joined the U.S. Department of Labor Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) in June 1980 and stayed with this agency as a geologist and coal-mine inspector for twenty-eight years, collecting plant fossils in the coal mines. After retirement, he explored outcrops (road cuts) in southwestern Virginia and parts of West Virginia for an additional two years. For approximately twenty-six years, McLoughlin taught Introduction to Geology courses at colleges in Cumberland, Kentucky, and Wise, Virginia. He is also a Merchant Marine. He is currently a coal miner instructor and a coal mining consultant.

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